It seems cruel that so many of our finest hall-of-famers never got even a sniff of an England call, particularly so when you consider that Dennis Wise got 21 caps, Carlton Palmer 18 and the goal machine Emile Heskey a whopping 62 over an 11 year period.
It seems he was a very hard worker – often shirking days off – and a man who racked up the air miles in pursuit of the foreign imports, which arguably eventually brought the club down to the Championship. But I’m guessing that his time in Norfolk will not be featuring in any future books
They are pointless questions but ones that always comes to mind: would either Alex Neil or Paul Lambert have signed their inherited strikers if fate and timing had been different? And how different would the club’s fortunes have been if they hadn’t?
Neil Adams at times seemed to get the balance right but, in hindsight, it was maybe more a case of luck than design. Alex Neil, despite his relative youth, does appear to have more of a grand plan in place.
For the sake of my ticker, it would be good if our promotion efforts didn’t go so close to the wire. However, with that backs-to-the-wall, winning mentality already engrained in our manager and a cool French penalty taker on board, we might just have the upper hand.
Every side in the league can offer up the injury-riddled bad luck excuse for under-performance but at such a critical stage of the season and with our boys looking in full flow, the loss of Grabban could turn out to be a defining factor if the promotion push falters.
While we fondly reminisce about the Saunders, Bond, Walker and Lambert eras, Town were blessed to have two of the 20th century’s truly great managers in Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson, who went on to be the best we’ve had at international level. Credit where it’s due.
Those nasty scars inflicted by the pitiful Reading and Preston defeats at the tatty end of the Neil Adams regime are not forgotten but have all but healed. Pleasure rather than pain is now the overwhelming sensation emanating from the terraces, message-boards and social media circles.
Reaction to Lambert’s demise within the Canaries’ community of course was split much more evenly, between those who continue to covet his talents and achievements as the ‘saviour’ of the club that we hold dear, and those who just cannot forgive the ill-will which surrounded his exit from Norfolk.
That home sting inflicted by the Bees seems to have caused one almighty nervous reaction to what our new Scottish management team are likely to achieve, particularly now the transfer window looks to be slamming shut with no fresh breeze blown into the squad.
The JTW gives a chance for the out-of-favour, perennial bench warmer to resurrect their flagging career in a new and stimulating environment; Daniel Ayala to Middlesbrough, Elliott Ward to Forest and Jacob Butterfield to Palace being recent examples.
It’s hard not to have that thumping baseline from Another one bites the dust in your head at this time. Joe Royle, Mark Robson and now Phelan all hardly had time to unpack their suitcases before heading back out of Norfolk
The perception in 2015 is that football management is becoming increasingly youthful in outlook – Eddie Howe, Garry Monk, Brendan Rodgers just three examples. Counter to that is 65 year-old Arsene Wenger or Harry Redknapp at 66.
Neil has the ‘chiselled from granite’ look of someone who will be more than happy to wade in and sort any kind of lingering background unrest out. I’m also sure he has a hairdryer in his armoury and by all accounts he’s a tough cookie.
The stinker at Reading was a sharp reminder that to get anywhere near the top two places, consistency is the key. Despite Bradley’s peach of a goal, it was a shocker of a performance that formed a right prickly pair of defeats within the space of a month to one of the division’s less fancied varieties.
Of course, it’s perfectly possible that footy fans of my current age thirty years back lamented the lack of a Bobby Moore or a Tom Finney but hell, with Roy Hodgson reduced to handing the captain’s mantle to Wayne Rooney, what is the world coming to?
Quite a contrast to the same point in time one year ago when an early lead at home to Fulham fell flat and limp and we allowed Scott Parker to break his yearly scoring duck to give the Cottagers an all too customary 3 points over us.
We’re in touch with the play-off places if too distant for comfort from a current top three that not even Mystic Meg could have foretold back in August.
At Norwich, we should praise the Lord (or Delia) that our club has not and is in no imminent danger of suffering a similar sticky fate. We remain in yellow and green (except for that dubious plum away strip), we remain the Canaries and we remain at Carrow Road.
In terms of great sporting moments, the choice of casting Zinedine Zidane’s World Cup final head butt in statue form is somewhat questionable you might think? If you travel to the Arab Museum of Modern Art, in Qatar, that’s what you can see outside.